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Recruitment, Price-Fixing and the Competition for Talent

This post outlines the spirit of the Competition Act and the significance for recruitment firms demanding privileged information to price-fix wages and deprive applicants of a fair wage negotiation process.

The Competition Act outlines a fair and competitive economic environment

Ordinary citizens pursuing a role in the economy are deemed to be on equal footing with the employed who interview them. Job applicants cannot be unfairly treated simply because they are in a vulnerable job seeking position.

In a free economy wages may not be price fixed. Labour has the enshrined right to seek opportunity and pursue better wages.

This is my analysis, I’m not a lawyer. What do you think about these points?

The opening statement of the Act says:

To provide for the establishment of a Competition Commission responsible for the investigation, control and evaluation of restrictive practices, abuse of dominant position, and mergers; and for the establishment of a Competition Tribunal responsible to adjudicate such matters; and for the establishment of a Competition Appeal Court; and for related matters.


  • control and evaluation of restrictive practices
    • the omission of pay information in job adverts followed by recruiters forcing candidates to provide personal information for their market research purposes
    • Recruiters force job applicants to surrender information or be expelled from the recruitment process. 
      • the demand for pay slips as a criteria for potential employment. This practice discriminates against those who have been unemployed and cannot provide records
      • pay slips used as a wage determinant is restrictive practice as firms don’t compete fairly for talent
      • Firms place restrictions on wage offers based on information contained in pay slips, this is a breach of the applicants trust as the firm is using information provided by the applicant – against the applicant. This has been cross referenced with a legal case in South Africa, Dun and Bradstreet.
  • abuse of dominant position
    • Firms force recruiters to obtain pay slips from applicants or no trade agreements ensue
    • This information allows firms competing for talent to spy on each other, job applicants are thereby coerced into committing industrial espionage
    • Firms use privileged information to unfairly compete for talent

Let’s start taking action! Leave comments below!


Job Applicants can Sue Recruiters – Infographic

Been asked for your pay slip? Legal Challenge




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